O.K. I have to confess. I may be a Nutritionist and I like healthy food but cooking is not my favorite thing to do. On rare occasions I enjoy preparing a special labor intensive meal when I have the time but I am as busy as the next person. Most of the time I like meals that are quick and easy as well as nutritious and tasty! Today I have a 1200 calorie diet menu that calls for eating soup from a can for lunch and popping a Lean Cuisine frozen entree into the microwave oven for supper. How’s that for simple? This menu can be easily adapted for anyone on a 1500 calorie diet. Look for my ideas after the menu.
NOTE: I am NOT suggesting is is a good idea to eat commercially prepared food on a regular basis. Quite the contrary! I believe firmly in the importance and value of preparing your own meals and snacks from fresh whole food and eating as little processed food as you can manage. However, I understand that doing what is best is not always possible. Hence my recommendations for making the best choice you can when homemade isn’t possible.
For this menu, I recommend my special homemade Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes for breakfast but you could choose to substitute commercially prepared pancakes if you don’t have time to make your own. (Cook up a batch of these pancakes on the weekend and then you will have a breakfast treat for several days!)
Sample Menu for 1200 Calories
2 Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes
1 Tbsp. Light Butter with Canola (by Land O’Lakes) – 50 calories
2 Tbsp. pancake syrup
4 oz. orange juice
1/8 cup Whole Almonds, unsalted
1 cup Organic Lentil Soup (no salt added soup by Health Valley) This soup is healthy but a little too bland for me. So I spice it up with some Mrs. Dash Southwest Chipotle mix and a little freshly squeezed lemon juice. That way I get more flavor without the sodium.
1 cubic inch of Low Fat Reduced Cholesterol Mozzarella Cheese – (Lifetime – 55 calories)
1 8 oz. cup of Skim milk
1 dish Macaroni & Cheese by Lean Cuisine – 290 calories
1/2 cup Snap Green Beans
Small Salad with 1 cup mixed salad greens and 1/4 cup or so of chopped fresh tomato tossed with 1 Tbsp. of Olive Oil Vinaigrette
2 Cookies Grace’s Sunflower Seed Petite Cookies – 43 calories
water, unsweetened tea or coffee, or diet soda
(Always remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day.)
Total Calories = 1202
Total Fiber = 26.9
Fat = 32%
Carbs = 53%
Protein = 15%
Calcium = 1111 mg (Women between 19 and 50 years need approximately 1,000 mg a day, 51+ need 1,200 mg a day)
Iron = 10.1 mg (Women 19 to 50 years need 18 mg of iron, 51+ need 8 mg)
1500 Calorie Diet Menu
Modify the 1200 Calorie Diet Menu to fit your needs. If you are between the ages of 19 and 50 or over 50 and still menstruating you may want to have a second cup of the soup for lunch. That will add 100 calories and a bit more iron. If you are getting enough iron from a supplement then you have more options for the additional 300 calories. If you are over 50 and needing a little more calcium you may want to add another serving from the milk group such as an additional glass of milk or a yogurt.
You could supplement the two snacks, morning and afternoon, with additional snack choices. See one of my previous posts on low calorie snacks to go for lots of ideas or you might want to eat another pancake or two for breakfast or have a higher calorie treat sometime during the day. The choice is yours.
For more diet tips see:
Questions? Be sure to ask. Comments? Feel free to share. Have a great week, watch those calories, and most importantly, stay healthy!